I have never been one to attempt inclusion in any and every anthology going. On the whole, I don’t write that many short stories anyway, and they tend to be stories that interest me at the time, rather than aiming for a particular market. Having said that, over the last few years I have taken to browsing the upcoming anthology list on Duotrope and, if any really catch my interest, I’ll have a go.
Needless to say, many rejections ensue, but just occasionally I get an acceptance, and below is my short list of those acceptances. I can also say, with complete honesty, that in each case the story was written with that particular anthology in mind (which somehow makes the acceptance even sweeter – it means I got something right!).
Even ignoring my contributions, these anthologies are all excellent collections and well worth checking out if you like the shorter story form.
Includes my story Candy Lady – written during a family vacation in Essex and set in that location. Dennis Wells watches a woman he has nicknamed Candy Lady. But is his interest really in her, or in the other man who also watches?
Includes my story The Real Story, in which TV adventurer Jim Malpas, star of Malpas’s World and used to the staged incidents in his show, finds himself stranded among a real lost tribe in a real lost world. Written with tongue firmly in cheek and a knowing nod to Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Includes my story Abandoned. Gunnar returns to his village from university and finds there are strange things going on in the woods, the old superstitious ways have a strong hold, and his own family hide a terrible secret.
Includes my story Subs. A dystopian future where, on the edge of the city, outside the barrier, there exists a shanty town occupied by Subs – people who do not sit well with the beliefs or match the ideal image required by the city elders. People who do not fit. They survive with the aid of a charitable few who bring food and clothing out to them, through the barrier. When Jansen Levert, a Sub, overhears a plot against Denby, one of the charity givers, he decides to act, leading to violence, an escape into the Wilds, and a declaration of love forbidden by the city elders.
Includes my story The Ten Year Anniversary. Harry Dixon is a hero, a survivor of the British defeat at the hands of the Zulu at Isandlwana. But Harry hides a secret guilt and is haunted by the sights and sounds of the battle. And perhaps by other things as well.